As everyone in Braves nation (okay, region) anticipates the Jason Heyward show, a former local phenom provides some insight on what he’ll experience in Buster Olney’s latest piece. “Frenchy” tells Olney of the pressure that will be heaped upon Heyward, and of the endlesss appearance requests he’ll be expected to honor.
“Jason will find out this spring that if he tries to do everything — if he tries to do every interview — he will be there until 4 or 5 o’clock every day. And if he goes to the big leagues and gets off to a great start, the same thing will continue to happen.”
Olney notes that much of the same buildup associated with Francoeur is happening again, pointing to the Paul Bundy tall tales surrounding J-Hey’s batting practice debut. The bottom line is that Heyward’s makeup and plate discipline at 20 is far beyond where Jeff’s was at that age, and possibly even now. The most impressive thing about Heyward’s minor league performance last season was his 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (he had 51 of each). In Francoeur’s final season in AA, he struck out 76 times with just 26 walks. Not bashing Frenchy, just noting that Heyward is a completely different player, one who is more equipped to handle the instant local stardom.
Also mentioned in the Olney piece was Andruw Jones (25 lbs. lighter) the self-proclaimed best center-fielder in White Sox camp. It’s good to see AJ has cut down on the waistband, but it’s still debatable if he’ll hit his weight unless he cuts down on the Ks like he has the carbs. But enough of the negativity, let’s look back on a happier time for AJ fans: